The facade of this new building consists entirely of balconies
There is no front or back for The Grid, a new residential building in Amsterdam’s Overhoeks district. Located along the IJ River, this luxury apartment building designed by KCAP is on all sides, with stacked balconies surrounding the entire facade. The structure encloses an interior courtyard designed by Sant&Co, a local landscape architecture firm.
All 68 units in the building have at least one balcony (sometimes more, depending on size), accessible through a one-story sliding window. In fine weather, tenants can open almost an entire wall of their living space, creating pseudo-loggias without carrying heavy loads.
The materiality of the building is a welcome mix of textured and smooth finishes. Outside, the modern, raised glass of the windows is framed by Jura stone, creating a pleasing juxtaposition between the man-made and the natural. As residents move in, the company hopes the facade will become greener and greener as the private outdoor spaces encourage outdoor gardens and plantings.
Although privacy was an integral part of the design, so was the common area. “The building is a modern translation of the luxury residential hotel of the early 19th century,” said Irma van Oort, partner at KCAP. “Residents would meet as easily in the central hall or on the terrace, as in their own suite or on a private balcony.”
To this end, a transparent lobby acts as the central hub of the complex, which the designers envisioned as an extension of each unit’s living room. Here tenants can mingle and socialize while admiring the common courtyard. “The courtyard becomes the green extension of the lobby, a place to enjoy together,” added van Oort. While the design encourages those who live in the building to connect with each other, the transparent facade is also used to connect the community to the outside world.